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Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20243
Experience:  Licensed Atty, 29 yrs exp in the practice of law.
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Is it legal restaurant is work at to force us to tip out the

Customer Question

Is it legal for the restaurant is work at to force us to tip out the kitchen.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for the information and your question. Although the answer to your question should be very clear, the State of the law in CA is a somewhat murky as to who is considered in the "chain of service" which is the key in deciding who can be included in the tip pooling proceeds. However, the most recent Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals case on the issue (the Court that includes CA cases) has stated that since cooks are not "customarily" tipped by customers, they cannot be included in the tip pool unless they directly serve the customer (like Benihana, etc. )

You can see a legal discussion of the issue by going to the following link:

If the employer is forcing this practice, then any employee who is negatively affected by it can file a wage claim with the CA Labor Commissioner's Office. You can find information on how to do so at:

Please feel free to ask for clarification after you have read the information at the links I provided. If none is needed, then if you could take a moment to leave a positive rating in the box above, I will receive credit for assisting you today. Thank you

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 19th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit(paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither.

Please keep in mind that I cannot control the law or your circumstances, and am ethically bound to provide you with accurate information based on the facts you give me even if the news is not good. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating,please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue,if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.